Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I feel like shouting this to the rooftops, WE HAVE HEAT! Maybe, perhaps, I have already. I may have, I won't tell, but I may have cried a little too. Perhaps I peed a little too. Naw, forget I said that. The excitement was purely the screaming, happy tear kind ... mostly.

Heat has been a long time coming. We went through last winter without heat or hot water for a large portion of the time (result of a scary, crazy basement dweller in previous apartment). This winter we thought that by starting the process to acquire heat in our very own building back in May, we'd be in the clear for the following winter, this winter. Boy, were we wrong. Construction time is about triple real world time. We were blessed to have 60 and 70 degree days in December and were even more fortunate that the heat went in and was turned on for the first time the day before the BlizzardWizard of 2016. Ice King came to town and did a number on us here in Queens.

I faced this commute to work, yes that is a ski slope masquerading as stairs and snow underground:

My husband faced a morning of fun and frolicking. Did I mention that my charming husband from California has become a polar bear since moving to NY? I do love my goof ball.

I do believe that a large part of Christopher's excursions out into the wild was all made possible by SPACE AGE HEAT and a guaranteed return into warmth and security. SCIENCE! 

These ducts in the living room will eventually run up a framed and sound insulated wall, but for now they are attached to the masonry party wall. They conjure images in my mind of a giant squid lovingly wrapping it's tentacles around our home. Don't judge. 

I have yet to determine exactly how we'll frame the heat tentacles in, but I have options. It was a bit of a surprise as their appearance was supposed to be relegated to the corners of the rooms but our house is quite solidly built and the exterior corners are sitting on top of solid masonry, hence no existing chase wall, even on the exterior wall of the house. I'll deal with this conundrum a little later when construction is closer to completion along with a few other items that are left before the whole HVAC system is complete:

1.     Return ducts, grills, fully installed to both floors.
(We temporarily have the return half way up the air shaft with a filter duct taped onto it)
2.     Heat runs installed into 1st floor Master Bedroom.
(It is a bit chilly, but by opening the door to the hall, the hot air from the basement moves into the room nicely)
3.     Heat runs installed into 1st floor Master Bathroom, once framed out.
(currently a storage room so no problem there)
4.     Heat runs installed into hall ways, once framed out.
(currently all open to the basement, so again, no problem)
5.    Hook up the a/c, hopefully before the dead of summer. We're facing that real world vs. renovation time paradigm again.

Now onto the good bits:

The ducts are tiny and once painted to match the wall, will be virtually unnoticeable. This little guy is installed in the 2nd floor ceiling. The attic crawl space above the second floor made the install much easier than that of our land locked 1st floor unit. 

I did spend quite a bit of time with the installer going over possible locations for the duct runs. Even though the ducting is small, it was a tricky job getting it to wind through the wall cavities successfully between floors without hitting a floor joist or major support beam. 

One major life savor was the old ducted heating system in the home. There was one major super highway up through each room. This halved our challenges. The original ducts were built into the plaster walls back in 1912. The edges around the studs were lined with bent sheet metal and the backing behind the plaster was a sort of metal lathe lattice.

In the end, the heat is a comfortable, even heat. There isn't one large vent dusting you with a spray of hot air leaving cold pockets around you. It is really quite too, even without the dampers installed.

Did I mention, we have heat, and a thermostat. I haven't been in control of a thermostat, well, ever! It was such a novelty that I looked up what temperatures were reasonable to set it at for day and night. I am anxiously anticipating receiving our gas bill to put my OMGHOWMUCHDOESNOTFREEZINGCOST worries to rest.